All Articles Tagged "fertility"

Dr. Jackie: 5 Things You Need To Know About Black Women And Fertility

March 11th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Fertility is increasingly becoming a concern for women of all ages, and though Black women aren’t absent from the conversation altogether, we tend to be late to the party, notes “Married to Medicine’s” Dr. Jackie Walters. We recently spoke with the OBYGN and asked her to give us five things we need to understand about Black women and fertility and she broke it all the way down for us, from our tendency to have fertility issues due to our weight and lack of an active lifestyle, to our hesitancy to follow through with doctor’s appointments. Check out the video above and get educated.

Where’s The Baby Fever? Fewer Americans Are Having Kids Than Ever Before

February 27th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Has baby fever plummeted to an all-time low among American women? Yes and no. According to Vox, it depends on which measure of fertility you’re looking at.

You see, there are three indicators of fertility used by analysts: The general fertility rate (GTF), completed fertility, and the total fertility rate (TFR). If you’re looking at the GTF, which looks at the annual rate that women (between the ages of 15 and 44) are presently having kids, the answer is a resounding “yes” — fertility is at an all-time low.

A new government study, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), discovers that 2013 had only 62.5 births for every 1,000 women of child-bearing years, the fewest number of kids ever. Compare that 62.5 figure to 120 births in the 1960s. Later, there was a drastic plummet to 70 births in the 1970s — from then on, that figure remained relatively stagnant for three decades until it dipped down to its lowest point two years ago.

But that’s the GTF. If you’re looking at the completed fertility rate, which calculates the number of kids a woman (between the age of 40 and 44) had in her lifetime, the lowest was in 2006 — there were just 1.86 births per mother.

The last indicator, the TFR, is more speculative — this measure looks at the “hypothetical number [of kids women] would likely have based upon present fertility patterns,” Vox adds. That estimate hit its lowest back in 1976.

If you subscribe to GTF, you might be wondering why female fertility rates are declining. For one, according to Medical Daily, more women are taking control of their bodies thanks to modern technology.

“More women are choosing the IUD and implants, which are great birth control options for women who want the best possible pregnancy prevention and aren’t yet ready to start a family,” said NCHS’ Any Braunum, chief of the reproductive statistics branch.

Between 2002 and 2013, according to the NCHS, usage of long-term, but reversible birth control like IUDs rose from 1.2 percent to 7.2 percent, HealthDay reports.

Others point to the economic difficulties as the reason behind the decline in births. “It’s common for people to have fewer kids when a recession hits, because they worry that they will lose their job or their home, or just not be able to afford another mouth to feed,” Today wrote.

It’s clear that Americans still want children (a 2013 Gallup Poll finds 90 percent desire kids), but more women are delaying giving birth until they feel secure enough to have their little bundle of joy on their own terms.

Celebrities Who Struggled To Get Pregnant

January 13th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

2015 is shaping up to be the year of the celebrity baby. But not all celebrity babies pop up out of the blue. Age, genes and some surprising factors caused these celebrity women to struggle to get pregnant.

Music Industry Publicist Yvette Gayle Talks Fertility Issues & Adoption

September 2nd, 2014 - By Karen Taylor Bass
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Welcome to our weekly column, Reset. Published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career.


First, the facts: Nearly one million women in the United States are put on bed rest each year due to pregnancy complications that can result in pre-term birth. Three out of four Black women will be diagnosed as “high risk” leading to bed rest.

Yvette Gayle is the VP of publicity at Interscope/Geffen A&M Records and the lead strategist for all things 50 Cent and Mary J. Blige.  Although her career is enviable, her dream has always been to have a big family. But fertility issues, a miscarriage and bed rest forced her to press reset and renew.

“When I had a plan for what my life would be like, becoming a mother would be a piece of cake.  My first pregnancy was anything but textbook. I lost my daughter prematurely, at six  months. The loss took everything out of me, but I still wanted to try (again) and did,” says Gayle. Her second pregnancy proved more challenging. She was put on bed rest at 12 weeks, up until delivery. The pregnancy brought on myriad challenges: gestational diabetes, incompetent cervix and discovering her unborn child’s intestines were in the umbilical chord. Prayers worked and a healthy boy was delivered. The intestines were put back and all was well.

Gayle still wanted another child, but the risk of a third pregnancy would was too great for both mom and child. Yvette and her husband decided to adopt and a journey of patience, love and candles was borne.

Yvette chatted with MadameNoire exclusively about her RESET and rediscovering self in the process.

MadameNoire: What has been the lesson to date?

Yvette Gayle: You can plan all you want, however the universe also has plans for you.  I had to learn that plans can change and the outcome will be the same.

YG childrenMN: Please share the adoption process.

YG: I did not want my son to be an only child and adoption was the safest choice.  My hubby and I made the decision to adopt and the process took three years from start to finish. We chose Ethiopia because it was the only African country with a systematic adoption in place (at the time). Also, culturally my husband is Jamaican and there is a large population of Jamaicans in Ethiopia. Both cultures are similar as it relates to religion, family, etc.

MN: What is the cost to adopt a child abroad?

YG:  Wow. The cost back then was $26,000, which includes: adoption agency fees, home study fees, fingerprinting, background check, court fee, international travel, international medical review, etc. That fee also includes our entire immediate family including son spending seven weeks in Capetown, South Africa to bond.

MN: How old was your daughter when you adopted?

YG: She was a year old, however, she was matched with us when she was six months old. The kids are four years apart and the love is real.

MN: Are there any agencies families should consider for adoption?

YG: Absolutely. My recommendation is the Children’s Home Society and Family Services.

MN: How have you taken a moment to  find solace and work a full-time career?

YG: Ha. That is a great question and I had to press reset because I started to feel overwhelmed when the adoption was completed. I never took a moment to process my mental, spiritual and physical state. I had to press reset.

MN: What was your RESET?

YG: I am so good at taking care of everyone else that I tend not to do anything for Yvette. When I was a teenager, I used to make candles to relax my brain and stay in the moment. Two years ago, I started attending a candle-making class, which only cost $20 and it helped to restore the calm back into my life. I now have a line of candles which is a celebration of my daughter Sitota coming into our family. The Sitota Collection is available online, sold in Nigeria and a favorite must-have for celebrities Adrienne Bailon, 50 Cent, Rachel Ray and Kenny Lattimore.

Yvette Gayle’s Reset Tip: Have the courage to believe in your journey even when the situation seems dire. Make certain you identify something/someone, which will help bring calm to your sphere as you go through the storm.

Exclusive bonus for MadameNoire: The Sitota Collection invites you to experience the Petit Excursion Quartet for 20% off with code: MNYG20.

Karen Taylor Bass is a best-selling author, PR Expert and understands that life only gets better when you press RESET. Follow her @thebrandnewmom.

Ask Dr. Renee: How Does Having Breast Cancer Affect Fertility?

July 24th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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How Does Having Breast Cancer Affect Fertility?

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Breast cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence. Unfortunately Black women are being diagnosed at younger ages. Black\women under the age of 40 are more likely to develop breast cancer than White women in the same age bracket. As if receiving a breast cancer diagnosis was not enough to worry about, now you have to worry about whether you will be able to ever have children once you become a survivor.

More than 11,000 women under the age of 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year. How breast cancer treatment affects fertility depends largely on three factors: the type of treatment used, type and stage of the cancer at diagnosis, and the age of the patient.

Type of Treatment

If your breast cancer can be treated with surgery and radiation and no chemotherapy there is no affect on your fertility. The women that are treated with chemotherapy have a greater risk of developing premature ovarian failure or very early menopause. Cyclophosphamide, one of the most common chemotherapy drugs used to treat breast cancer, has a 40-80% risk of causing women to develop ovarian failure.

Type and Stage of Cancer

The severity of the cancer upon detection, as well as what type of cancer it is, decide whether chemotherapy will be required to treat the disease. The more advanced the cancer is upon detection, increases the likelihood that chemotherapy will be the treatment of choice. Chemotherapy drugs affect the whole body, which is why there are so many side affects when taking these medications.  A small tumor with small nodes that are localized and have no threat of spreading (metastasizing) can be surgically removed and radiation administered to make certain they are all gone. Compared to invasive breast cancer which will require chemotherapy.

There are different types of breast cancer tumors, which will also dictate which treatment is best. Some tumors can be treated with hormone-containing drugs.  There are a small number of tumors that are “hormonally insensitive,” meaning you can not treat them with hormones so your only treatment option is chemotherapy.

Age of Patient

Age is a major factor in a woman’s fertility. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and you are already 30 your fertility was already declining. Now, you add the fact that you are taking chemotherapy drugs and have to wait a few more years after you are medically cleared to try to get pregnant. Many times chemotherapy sends women close to 40 into menopause.

Preserving Fertility

Recently I talked about whether or not you “should freeze your eggs.” Many of those methods are recommended to patients who want to preserve their fertility until after they are cancer free. If you have a partner you could try invitro fertilization (IVF) where your partner’s sperm fertilizes your eggs and they freeze the embryos for transplantation into your uterus at a later date.

It is rare for men to get breast cancer, but it happens. Male breast cancer patients that undergo chemotherapy and want to preserve their fertility can freeze their sperm.

Tamoxifen, a drug traditionally used to prevent breast cancer reoccurrence, was recently found to stimulate ovaries in breast cancer survivors during an IVF cycle, enhancing both egg and embryo production. This extra boost can combat infertility barriers such as age and the diminishing ovarian reserves, which occurs naturally with aging.

When Can I Try To Conceive?

Women that are fertile after their breast cancer treatment are generally told to wait two years before trying to get pregnant. The most serious relapses occur in the first two years. During pregnancy the hormone levels are so high that it could possibly contribute to a growing cancer tumor, which is why it is so important to wait at least two years before trying.

Science has come a long way and is still doing lots of research to figure out how to preserve male and female fertility during breast cancer treatment. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and you plan on having a family, I would recommend you have this discussion with your doctor immediately and ask for a recommendation for a reproductive endocrinologist. The oncologist and reproductive endocrinologist will have to work together to determine what is the best avenue for you to have a baby.


Source: Ask Dr. Renee

Source: Ask Dr. Renee


Dr. Renee Matthews has appeared on television shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and WGN’s “People to People”  where she discussed different health topics. She started her media career with her own radio show on Sirius XM/ReachMD, a programming source for health professionals. In addition Dr. Renee has been a featured medical correspondent on Sirius XM’s “Sway in the Morning.” 

Dr. Renee earned her undergraduate degree in 1999 and her Medical Doctorate in 2005. She spent the early part of her medical career as an educator for numerous hospitals and attending staff on cord blood. 

Twitter: @AskDrRenee

Ask Dr. Renee: Should I Freeze My Eggs?

June 25th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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freezing your eggs feat

Source: Shutterstock

Are you working the career of your dreams? Are you too busy to date?  Are you having trouble getting married and starting a family? This is a scenario way to familiar to many women these days. We are so busy climbing the corporate ladder or building our businesses that we forget to have a family. This is where a big question comes to mind, when should I freeze my eggs? There are several factors to consider before freezing your eggs. Are you a good candidate, can you afford it and are there any options

What are the pros and cons of egg freezing?

The biggest con is that there is no guarantee that once the eggs are thawed that implantation will be successful and result in the birth of a healthy baby. Egg preservation is not covered by insurance because it is considered to be an elective procedure. Currently, it can cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to freeze your eggs, thaw the eggs and finally implant them in your uterus. Most people do not have success on the first round of implantation hence the rising costs. In order to prepare your body for the egg preservation you have to take hormones, which can have a whole host of side effects.

In regards to pros of the egg freezing process it gives women who may otherwise not have had the ability to conceive a child the opportunity to do so. Medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can forever damage eggs and make a young woman infertile. Once you are a cancer survivor if you have preserved your eggs you may be able to conceive a child.

At what age should I consider freezing my eggs?

Freezing your eggs is usually reserved for women who are likely to have fertility issues in the future. When girls are born they have all of their eggs, boys produce new sperm throughout their life. Women in their 20s will be fertile for many years, so unless there is a known health condition you do not need to worry about freezing your eggs. Women in their early to mid 30s are not planning to start a family in the next few years are the best candidates for this procedure. Once you enter your 40s your chances of a positive outcome from this procedure are unlikely. You may still have eggs but after they have been frozen they will not likely survive the thawing process.

There are some risks?

The most common risks involve complications due to over stimulation of the ovaries to produce many eggs, potential bleeding and/or infection from the egg retrieval. Although these risks are extremely rare, it is important to know exactly what risks you are taking by choosing this procedure to start your family.

Are you a good candidate for egg freezing?

As I mentioned earlier not everyone should consider egg preservation because of your age. This is an expensive procedure involving daily hormone shots, minor outpatient surgery, and emotional stress. It is important if you are in your 30s and considering choosing this option for starting a family, you need to have your ovarian reserve checked. Ovarian Reserve is the capacity of the ovary to provide eggs for fertilization. FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) level is the blood test to check ovarian reserve.

If having a family is important to you, consider these pros and cons of freezing your eggs. If this is not the best option to help you start a family, consider exploring your options further.If you have any other questions concerning this matter or anything else related to your health please do not hesitate to Ask Dr. Renee.

Twitter: @AskDrRenee


Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 3.52.37 PM

Source: Ask Dr. Renee

Dr. Renee Matthews has appeared on television shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and WGN’s “People to People”  where she discussed different health topics. She started her media career with her own radio show on Sirius XM/ReachMD, a programming source for health professionals. In addition Dr. Renee has been a featured medical correspondent on Sirius XM’s “Sway in the Morning.” 

Dr. Renee earned her undergraduate degree in 1999 and her Medical Doctorate in 2005. She spent the early part of her medical career as an educator for numerous hospitals and attending staff on cord blood.



Kenya Moore Says Her Body Has Been Cleared For Baby Making: ‘I Hope To Share Some Great News Soon!’

March 21st, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Kenya Moore Says Her Body Has Been Cleared For Baby Making

Source: Instagram

It’s no secret that Kenya Moore has big dreams of becoming a mom someday. And according to a recent blog post, she’s hoping to conceive in the very near future. With whom she’s looking to go half on a baby with is a completely different story.

“I underwent fibroid surgery early this year and it was very successful,” Moore gushed in the blog post. “Thanks to my amazing doctor and my many blessings, physically, I’m in amazing condition for pregnancy. I hope to share some great news soon.”

During Sunday night’s episode, fans witnessed the former pageant queen’s eagerness to conceive first hand when she invited a few of the Housewives to a Shaman cleansing, which is believed to assist with fertility.

“You never know how your blessings will come or from whom,” she explained. “The Shamans have been known to bless many women with children after their spiritual cleansing. I brought the women who had been supportive of me in my endeavor to have a family.”

Kenya then went on to express why she chose to exclude some of the cast from the ceremony.

“I excluded Phaedra who cold heartedly remarked about me having ‘scrambled eggs’ and Porsha for consistently taunting me about the men in my life, which leads to a family.”

“With that said, I now see that NeNe’s snide remarks made me regret inviting her,” adds the 43-year-old reality star. “I’ve been more than generous with her, but I am too fed up with her to see any good in her. This was my honest attempt at revealing more of who I am and what my real struggles have been.”

Despite her displeasure with NeNe’s response to the ceremony, she says that it wasn’t a complete waste, as she was able to connect with some of the other ladies.

“I’m thankful that they all were able to share their stories on motherhood allowing us to understand each other more. It truly inspired me.”

Good luck, Kenya!

Silly Sex Stereotypes That People Love To Believe

January 21st, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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Sex: We all like to believe that there are signs that can guarantee that we’ll get some and the getting will be good.  I thought sex stereotypes for most people died in their undergrad dorms, but apparently there are still fully functional adults that believe race and gender somehow place you at an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to what you’re working with in bed.

At one point or another, I’m sure you’ve overheard someone make some generalization on sex based on one or two experiences they’ve had, or more likely, what someone else has told them, but in all honesty they usually just don’t apply.  Take a look at some common sex stereotypes people like to throw around that have no factual basis whatsoever:

‘My Eggs Are Like The Thing Indiana Jones Finds In The Temple Of Doom:’ Gabrielle Union Talks Reproductive Concerns

November 15th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Gabrielle Union

Source: WENN

Being Mary Jane actress Gabrielle Union has made it clear that she wants children. On several occasions, the 41-year-old beauty has expressed her desire to be mother; however, the timeline regarding when she plans to make it up seems to switch up every so often. As of this past July, Gabby says she’ll be ready to be a mom in a couple of years.

“I always knew I was going to wait really long, and I followed the Halle Berry example, and I think in the next couple of years, if I’m lucky, I will make that a reality, hopefully. I think with the career, the industry that we’re in, it’s not taboo to be an older mom. You’re not alone. There’s such a huge support to start a family a little bit older and it’s okay! My friends from home, they all started in their 20s and that’s awesome, too. There’s give and takes. I knew, for me, I wasn’t going to be the kind of parent I would want to be. I would be way too selfish and resent having to miss out on things. Now, I’m in a place where I’m happy and still wanting adventure, but I want part of that adventure to include a child.”

Unfortunately, the reality is that women are not physically capable of having children forever. Gabby addressed those concerns during a Google Hangout session with ESSENCE.

“I don’t know if by now its [having kids] a matter of ‘want,'”Gabby said.

She went on to say that at this point, she’ll be content with having one child, as she’s unsure if her body is capable of having more than one.

“My eggs are like the thing Indiana Jones finds in the Temple of Doom so I don’t know how many my body can physically have. I’d be happy with one if that’s what God blesses me with it,” she continued.

We can totally dig her positive outlook.

Matchmaker: You Do Not Have All The Time In The World To Settle Down And Get Pregnant

August 21st, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock



From YourTango

More and more often, women ages forty-plus are enlisting me to assist them in their quest to find a husband, which is just fine and dandy, except for one little snag. They want to have children. I have no idea what they were doing for the last twenty-some-odd years, but often, single women in their 40s have the idea that they still have all the time in the world to settle down and get pregnant.

Unfortunately, my male clients that want a family are generally not open to meeting a woman over thirty-three — especially if they want more than one child. It is understandable that women are waiting longer to have children; after all, many are building careers and enjoying the freedom to travel, pursue friendships and cultivate personal passions. But many women are also in for quite a shock when they come to the realization that they waited too long, and that their eggs are all but dried up.

Many women are under the assumption that just because they are still ovulating, they are fertile. An article on the website The Telegraph states that scientists have discovered the reason why women find it difficult to conceive later in life is “because they have used up 90 percent of their ‘ovarian reserve’ by the age of 30, and while they may continue to produce eggs throughout their 30s and 40s, the reservoir of potential eggs from which they are taken has shrunk to almost nothing.”

Hollywood reinforces the idea that women can conceive easily well into their forties; we constantly hear about celebrities that are getting pregnant and giving birth, as late as their early 50s. But what the media fails to explain is that these celebs are most likely using another woman’s eggs! When I bring up the subject of fertility to a forty-plus single woman who has asked me to match her to a man that wants children, her response often goes something like this: “Oh, I am in excellent health, and I look so much younger than my age. I know I am forty-one, but everyone thinks that I’m in my early thirties. I am sure that I am extremely fertile.”

The reality is that the amount and the quality of a woman’s eggs has absolutely nothing to do with how young she (thinks) she looks, or how fit or healthy she is. Because a woman is born with all of the eggs that she will have in her lifetime, the older she gets the fewer eggs she has left.  And the eggs that are left are often not viable.